The subject matter of this research work is to examine the effect of  Nigerian Pidgin English on the academic performance among National Open University of Nigeria Students in Benin Study Centre. The main objective of this research work was to find out the impact of Nigerian Pidgin English on students communication and academic performance. The design used for the study is a descriptive survey method. The numbers of students used are one hundred and twenty-five (125) from National Open University Benin Study Centre. Four research questions were formulated to guide the study, from which the questionnaire was designed. From the analyzed data, it showed that students frequently use Pidgin in their daily communication within the school premises, lack of effective usage of English language has prompted student to use Pidgin in their communication and the use of Nigeria pidgin by male and female students has encourage wrong use and expression of English language. It was recommended that Staff and students in tertiary institution across the federation should engage the use of Standard English language in the communication rather than use of Nigeria Pidgin. In addition, the use of Nigerian Pidgin by students during official communication should be discouraged by implementing laws that can combat wrong use of English Language in the school environment.



1.0                                                            INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the study

Attitudes towards language or language behavior implicate social meanings relative to social norms in a given speech community. As demonstrated in the literature, language attitude study is not only a way of understanding how language is used, for example, as a symbol of identity or in-group membership, it also helps to illuminate the social importance of a given code or language (see Adegbija, 1994; Ihemere 2006; Salami 1991). Attitudinal studies of language are also important to linguistics because they could help to explain language maintenance and shift, which are apparently influenced by whether the change or maintenance is favored or disfavored by members of the speech community (Mann 1993; 1998).




The research topic on: “The Teaching of Primary science (PR. SC) (also know as Integrated Science (ITS) in the junior secondary Schools ITS)in the primary schools, Problems and Prospects: A Case Study of Some Selected Primary School in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State”. The objective/purpose is to determine how the teaching of Integrated Science has feature in the school curriculum as the case may be. Some literature review was made in the area of teaching science on the topic. Questionnaires were distributed and collected from respondents, the data and information collected were analyzed. Findings from the research showed that:

  1. The teachers should identify the prescribed strategy of teaching integrated science; couple with the use of adequate teaching aids, inquiry experimentation, field trips and so on.
  2. The major problem inhibiting effective teaching of integrated science is inadequate trained teachers in the field. Therefore, there is need for urgent attention for training and retraining for teachers in Integrated Science i.e. through seminar and workshops and in-service training.
  3. The Integrated Science as a subject is included in the curriculum as a core subject in all the schools sampled (prospects)

Title of Research                                                                       i

Approval Page                                                                           ii

Declaration                                                                               iii

Dedication                                                                                iv

Acknowledgement                                                                     v

Abstract                                                                                   vi

Table of Contents                                                             vii-viii


1.1   Introduction                                                                     1

1.2   Statement of the Problem                                                 4

1.3   Significance of the Study                                                  6

1.4   Delimitation                                                                     7

1.5   Definition of Terms                                                           7

1.6   Hypothesis                                                                       8


2.0   Literature Review                                                              10

2.1   Definition of Science                                                         10


3.0   Research Methodology                                                      20

3.1   The Design                                                                       20

3.2   The Sample                                                                      21

3.3   The Instrument                                                                21

3.4   Data Collection                                                                 21

3.5   Analysis of Data                                                               22

3.6   Validity of Instrument                                                       22


4.1   Data Analysis                                                                   23


5.1   Summary

5.2   Conclusion

5.3   Recommendations








The science curriculum at any time and place is determined by the existing theories and ideas about the nature of science. Because such theories and ideas have varied from place to place and from time to time, even for the same place; the science curriculum and its introduction have never remained static. Several programmes have been set up in various parts of the world to develop science curriculum and teaching, with an aim to suit the prevailing situation in such areas. As a result of the changing views about science, its content and materials have been subjected to modification in accordance with the reigning theories. In the 1960s the U.S.A, set up a programme called Science a Process Approach (S.A.PA.) which was developed and sponsored by the America Association of the Advancement of Science (A.A.A.S).




Political leaders consciously or unconsciously employ Speech Act Theory in their effort to
govern. This article discursively analyses the farewell speech of the former president of Nigeria,Olusegun Obasanjo to unearth the linguistic and political underpinnings of his speech via Speech Act analysis and pragmatics, respectively. Obasanjo’s speech is laced with a preponderance of assertives to mobilize and persuade Nigerians to support Umaru Musa
Yar’Adua, “the man in whom I have great confidence”. In light of the socio-political events
preceding and following the installation of Yar’Adua as Nigeria’s president and his eventual
premature demise, this article argues that Obasanjo’s confidence in Yar’Adua is either misplaced or self-serving.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and preproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo gave his farewell speech on the eve of May 28, 2007,
the swearing-in of his successor – the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Following the assertion that political leaders govern largely through speech acts (Atolagbe, 2010), we engage in a Speech Act/pragmatic analysis of his speech for both linguistic and political purposes; linguistic in the sense of examining political language use for effective communication, and political in the context of the socio-political relevance of the speech to the Nigerian nation today. We discuss the speech in the context of the socio-political environment in Nigeria and also with respect to the challenges Yar’ Adua had
to grapple with before his death on May 5th, 2010, a year before the end of his four-year tenure. Introduction to Speech Act Theory Speech Act Theory arose in philosophy as a tool to
interpret the meaning and function of words in different speech situations. It concerns itself with the symbolism of words, the difference between a meaningful string of words and meaningless ones, the truth value or falsity of utterances, and the function to which language can be put. Austin(1962) dealt extensively with these issues, providing linguistic characterizations and linguistic explanations, which were further expounded and
expanded by Searle (1969).



1.1     Introduction

Nigeria is certainly one of the linguistically diverse nations with a projected 516 languages (Gordon, 2005), each one has an important function and a significant role in the society wherever it is in use. It is exciting to know that Pidgin separately exists from several local languages which constitute the mother tongue or second language of Nigerians,foreign languages such as English, French, and Arabic, similarly exist. English has become an official language, and for most people a second language in Nigeria. On the other hand, Nigerian Pidgin English, with possibly the largest number of speakers, has also developed as an outcome of contact of English alongside the native languages (Dada 2007:87).

Language conduct implicates social meanings relative to social customs in an identified speech community. Language attitude study is not only a way of understanding how language is used, for example, as a symbol of identity or in-group membership, but also helps to inform the social importance of a given code or language (see Adegbija, 1994; Ihemere 2006; Salami 1991). Therefore, attitudinal studies of language are important to linguistics because they could help to explain language maintenance and shift, which is distinctly influenced by the change or maintenance, which is favored or disfavored by members of the speech community (Mann 1993; 1998).

One of the most important differences between man and animal is man’s ability to speak and make others understand him. Language is only possible because within each society, people agree to understand a particular pattern of sound in a particular way. For instance, all English speaking countries understand the meaning of the word ‘water’. According to Akindele and Adegbije, language is:

“A human phenomenon that has form which can be described in terms of units of sound (phonemes), word, morphemes, phrases, sentences and paragraphs or discourse”

This definition shows that language has often been identified as the most unique attribute of man. It is through language that human beings grasp and understand reality and transmit it from one generation to another. This view is buttressed by Blakar who asserts that we actually live and behave in a world of language”. Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman quoted Noam Chomoky as saying that:

When we study human language, we are approaching what some might call the human essence. The distributive qualities of the mind that are so far as we know unique to man

Language, which OyewoYinka describe as “the medium or vehicle for conveying ideas, a system of arbitrary vocal symbol based on social cooperation; the totality of meaningful utterance in any given society” is by far the most important means of human communication.

The effect of Nigerian Pidgin English on students is the focus of this research work. Pidgin has their different histories about language contact and subsequent borrowing and code-mixing. The origin of Nigerian pidgin can be traced to the contact which was established between multilingual coastal communities and Portuguese merchants, who were joined later by the Dutch and the English. Nigerian Pidgin English is in fact becoming very popular in the country, especially in the secondary schools and in the universities; even at public function as well as in the offices. It is a lingua franca for social integration among diverse ethnic groups in the country.





1.1       Background of Study

The dominant literature in Africa had been oral literature; oral literature has been existing since a long time. There was a long delay in the emergence of written literature because of the wide-spread illiteracy in Africa. The blacks have suffered injustice from the white race right from the time of slavery, this we got to know thru history. It was among this group of Africans that crossed the sea and came in closer contact with the West, this contact now brought about the first seeds of new literature like Phyllis Wheatly and George Horton, these poets were prepared to embrace the values of the whites in which they have been initiated, despite this they deplored their enslaved condition. The new world literature of the black in the eighteen and nineteen century was referred to as ‘apprentice literature’ by Jan Janheinz in a book titled A History of Neo-African Literature published in 1968. African nationalism and pan-Africanism started in the new world, between 1900 and 1945,two conferences on pan-Africanism which was held in various European capitals including New York were to play a decisive role in the growth of nationalism among African students who were studying abroad. Political independence was first proclaimed as a goal of nationalism at the sixth pan-African congress in Manchester in 1945. Blyden was the first black man to attempt an objective appraisal of African culture, in his book titled Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race published in 1887. In this book, he traced the history of African’s contact with the outside world and produced evidence from sociology, history and literature to show that Africans had something positive to show the world, he tried to rehabilitate the living cultures of African communities and took pride in blackness; he implored his fellow Afro-Americans to do the same. He urged the black race to embrace their history and their culture and use them as the foundation for building the future. Blyden’s meetings were coloured by romantic views of his contemporary world. Peter Abrahams in 1945 was the first non-white African novelist in his novel Sons of the City which later appeared in the fifties, this novel began to acquire its own identity and generate the present literary explosion in the fifties. Every writer is influenced by the tradition in which he acquire his tools of writing: the language, the styles and the forms which he’s familiar with before he starts writing, this can be seen in African writings which has its own distinctive characteristics that distinguished them from other areas of the world due to the acquisition of their tool of writing[the language, the styles, the forms] from their contact with their contact with the West. Critics such as Jan Heinz in the book titled A History of Neo-African literature, published in 1968 defended the view that there is an essential similarity between all literatures written by people whose origin can be traced back to Africa. At the first Congress of Negro writers which were held in Paris 1956, one of the delegates Ben Enwonwu insisted on the declaration on the need for literature to put itself at the service of nationalism. Ben Enwonwu (1956) declared that:

The present generation of African artists therefore have to face their political problems, and try to look at art through politics, the kind of picture that the political aspect of African art shows is one of strife and pity.




This Study analyses and discusses the pragmatically negation in selected U.S and Nigerian presidential speeches. It first examined the process of speaking as a form of intimated and supportive relationship that serves as cement that holds friendships, families, communities, societies and government together. The focus is on political discourse which is closely related to power, that put certain political economic and social ideas into practice. Text of acceptance and inauguration speeches of President Barak Obama of the U.S.A and President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria are selected to be the working data. Three components, Description, Interpretation, and Explanation were used as the bases for analysis and discussions.


Most of our social lives depend on speaking to one another. It is the way we form intimate and supportive relationship. The mind of one human can reach the mind of another by a process of speaking. Speaking is the cement that holds friendship, families, communities, societies, and government together (Philips, Kougi and Kelly 1985). For any meaningful development and change to take place in a society, people must first speak out. At a formal level of interaction, there are many forms of public discourse, which among others include sermons, debates, and political speeches. Central to all public discourse is language. Language is indispensable tool more especially in political discourse. Schaffher (1996:1) supports the argument, which put forward, language as and octant factor in political spe. He said that any political action is prepared, accompanied, controlled, and influenced by language.

The Held of politic related to power. The power to put certain political, economic and social ideas into practices (Bayram, 2010). For this to be established one of the effective means at the disposal of those concerned with politics and by extension power is the act of making speeches. The ultimate aim of political speeches is to persuade their audiences especially of the validity of their political claims. However, this task is challenging because the audiences of political speeches are broad and that makes the language use within that domain to be complicated. Unlike other genres of public discourse, political speeches aim at wider range of audiences. Hence, language in the hand of modern politicians is at risk of becoming an obfuscating rather than a means of enlightenment. This trend in the use of language by politicians made Orwell (1946) to conclude that in cash is in a bad way. Orwell criticizes the English of his one citing examples from ng metaphors’, verbal ‘pretentious dictions and “meaningless words.




This project analyses semantic ambiguous headlines stating their communicative effectiveness with regards to print media. Using data from Vanguard and Daily Trust newspapers, the study discovered that ambiguities are prevalent in the newspaper headlines as a result of various manipulations on sentences and lexical choice. This leads to the possibility of multiple meanings and interpretation of the headlines.



The crux of this research is semantic ambiguity as it affects communication effectiveness of media headlines of print media. Semantic ambiguity is concerned with meaning relations at sentence level which is a sub-field in the study of semantics that deals with the influence of one word upon another in sentences. Other related terms are tautology, redundancy, paraphrase, anomaly. Ambiguity is defined as a grammatical phenomenon in which an expression can be given more than one interpretation and could be caused by syntactic and semantic factors. Semantic ambiguity is a situation in which an expression can be given more than one interpretation based on the meaning of a word or words which in themselves can be misinterpreted. Syntactic ambiguity on the other hand is caused by the grammatical construction of the phrase or sentence which bring about misinterpretation.

A headline like, “Fashola meets ex-girlfriend in Paris” from Vanguard newspaper of June 4, 2013 could be ambiguous and as such could be misinterpreted. The word ‘meets’ has several meanings and denotes a lot of things. It means among others (1) to come face to face with someone coincidentally or unexpectedly (2) to converge or come in contact and finally touch or have sexual intercourse with someone (3) to come together in conflict (4) to gather for a formal discussion. The construction has therefore distorted a direct translation of the sentence to mean Fashola, saw his former girlfriend in Paris coincidentally.




This research studies the occurrence of the constructions and functions of NPs in English and Hausa languages, and finds out the similarities and differences that exist between them. Data are collected from primary and secondary sources, i.e. published Grammar, Linguistics and Comparative Analysis, unpublished lecture note; internet based material as well as personal observation. The data are analyzed through presenting well-formed and ill-formed expressions, which were compared, to find areas of differences and similarities. An analysis also made, using linguistic tree diagram, tables, and asterisk symbol (*) to mark ungrammatical expressions. This work is placed within the context of existing literature on “Hausa and English Grammar and Linguistics” and the teaching and learning of both languages. This will help the researchers in grammar with a concise knowledge of Hausa and English NPs construction, functions and enable them know the similarities and differences that exist.




The study of grammar has become very important as far as speaking and writing are concerned. This is because in our daily use of language, we try to put every part of speech (noun, verb etc.) in its appropriate position to avoid misinformation in the course of writing and communication.

English language is a widely spoken language almost everywhere in the world, and Hausa is a language spoken in some parts of Northern Nigeria and even outside Nigeria. Both are taught as subjects in public and private schools. These two languages interrelate and contrast with each other morphologically, syntactically and even semantically. This work is based on syntactic level, i.e. (comparative study of English and Hausa Nominal phrase). Typologically; Hausa and English share the same order of arranging words to form phrases and sentences (SVO). Example:

S                  V                                 O

Audu              kashe                     Kare

Audu              kill              a          Dog

This work will be based on Hausa and English nominal phrases. These languages have greatly spread around the world and well accepted, accommodated and acquired organically by other native speakers, So the research dissimilar will be done on them (Hausa and English) on how their NPs are similar and dissimilar. The study will also throw light on their morphological process in forming NPs, prevailing overt nature of Hausa NPs and hiding nature of English NPs morphologically.




This study examined the Correlation between English – language and literature – English: A case study of MELL, UDUS, Sokoto. The research centers on finding out the reason why most students in tertiary institutions being scared of some aspects of the genres of literature with emphasis majorly on poetry. Research questions were formulated based on the above variables. Two research questionnaires (for students of MELL) which is the case study and B. ed English – language students of UDUS, as a pilot study. The findings were analyzed in percentage and frequency statistical tools. Finally, summary, conclusion and recommendation were proffered.


1.0  Introduction

This section is aimed at giving a general introduction regarding the study. It discusses the background to the study and statement of the research problem. It also goes further in explaining the objectives of the Study, significance of the Study, as well as its Scope and Delimitations.

1.1  Background of the Study

There is no gain saying the fact that English has become an African Language. The language has become an invaluable legacy of the British which has provided African with yet another means of expressing their culture. Thus, English became the language of administration, law and legislative functions especially in Nigeria (Ker, 2002). In English language studies, literature is also featured as an important aspect for example; figures of speech in literature are also taught in English language. This goes to show that the English language is not devoid of literature.

Today in Nigeria, the English language has become so central in every sphere of life, that most people equate literacy and indeed education with the ability to read and write in English language (Otagburuagu, 2002). Faloye and

Babatunde, (1991) similarly contained that:

….Since the advent of formal education, instructions in all subject areas have been in English students are taught and tested in English. They are made to read in English and even think in English.

Emphatically speaking, literature in English is an integral part of the English language. It cannot be separated because of the intricate nature of the two fields of the study.




Ambiguity is a linguistic phenomenon in which more than one meaning, or deep structure, may be represented by the same expression, or surface structure; the same word or similar sounding words for example can have multiple meaning. It arises from different sources; phonology, syntax and punctuation. In this task, ambiguity is the preoccupation of this task. It is a point where two sentence overlap with respect to their syntactic category.



Punctuation is one of the major aspects that contribute to meaning of any written discourse. This implies that correct the use of punctuation in written communication enhances meaning and fluency which facilitates comprehension and effective communication.

However, when punctuation marks are used incorrectly, it generally alters meaning and creates ambiguity in written discourse which leads to ineffective communication.

This research is taken to investigate how incorrect punctuation creates ambiguity and misunderstanding in written communication. This will be achieved by examining selected scripts of UG III students of Modern European Languages and Linguistics of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, thereby evaluating the causes of ambiguity in the essays with regards to the incorrect use of punctuation.


Punctuation is the use of punctuation marks within a written text to enhance its meaning or fluency or to indicate aspect of pronunciation. Punctuation is one of the most important aspects of written communications. In fact, it is the basic features of any written discourse that gives meaning to the written words. Hence, an error in punctuation can convey a completely different meaning as against the intended one, thereby, making communication incomprehensible and ambiguous.




This research work focuses on the language of persuasion by examining some selected speeches of Governor Aliyu Magatakurda Wamakko. It has been carefully observed that the Sokoto state Governor is fond of using persuasive expressions in most of his speeches. He uses the language mostly to captivate and convince his audience and this tends to endear him across the state to achieve his political goals



1.1  Background of the Study

Language is the system of human expression conducted by the means of the use of words. It is a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions, and desires by means of voluntary produced symbol (Sapir, 1921). Language is a resource used for any social purposes, it is to be found wherever human live in social relationships and helps in maintaining political control, as it can be used to communicate attitudes and feelings of government towards people as well.

However, there are many interpretations to the concept of language. Many scholars, and political analysts consider language of politics as a means to play or deceive the citizens so that, the citizens would believe them.

So, many features have been attributed to the nature of language of politics, which depict politicians in most negative lights, this is because the nature and characteristics of the processes, procedures and activities in governance require constant communication between the leaders and the led.

It is however believed that every set-up and discipline use certain patterns of language to process information and ensure proper understanding within their profession. For instance, in the legal profession and engineering etc, have specific choice of words and terms that are peculiar to them, so also are politicians and public officials in leadership positions.

But the use of certain terms in language construction by politicians is deliberate just to achieve some set of goals. Most of the times, politicians lie, deceive, exaggerate etc, to convince the populace of their good intention so as to generate continued support. Thus, citizens are made to believe at times, what is either not true or over blown beyond proportion.

O’ Bar (1976) states that people use language (verbal or written) in relation to the study of political process. Thus, politicians use language either to impress, persuade, captivate or woo the interest of their people, and the kind of language used by the politician to captivate attention of their people differs greatly from the language they use to persuade.




The primary focus and interest of stylistics has been the analysis of style in any instance of language use, it examines both oral discourse and written text in order to ascertain the form and effect of choices and to determine essential linguistic properties, structures and patterns influencing perception of oral and textual discourses. This research work provides a literary stylistic analysis of LaboYari’sA Day Without Cockcrow. As a way in which literary appreciation is being made, the major aspects investigated include: the writer’s use of language, stylistic devices, narrative techniques and figurative expressions. These formed the basis of analysis in the course of the study.



Stylistics is the study and interpretation of text with regard to its linguistic and literary style. It is the study of styles in language that accounts for how meanings are projected in literary works. Its central concern is the way in which communicative effects are achieved by means of linguistic choices and how linguistic elements act in a text to communicate the author’s message. Stylistic study therefore, serves as a means by which ideas and meaning in literary texts are interpreted and conveyed. Thus, it elucidates pattern in styles that influence and clarify reader’s perception of a given literary piece.

However, Stylistics facilitates the understanding of literary texts by examining in detail the linguistic choices and styles adopted by writers in conceptualizing thoughts, ideas, meaning and reality in any artistic work. Such detailed examination of a text often aids reader’s comprehension of the author’s message. Stylistics generally employs literary analysis to provide organization of the devices and techniques that characterize a particular literary work. Hence, stylistic study has become an established discipline that approaches literary texts through linguistic frame work that explicitly communicates meaning entrenched in literary works. And so, stylistics remains a useful tool in analyzing literary text from any stand point by exploring the writer’s overall use of language in creating both aesthetic and artistic effect in a text.






Language is generally used for the purpose of interaction among people in the society. It is also used to differentiate people by sex, age and social status within a particular society. Language serves as a tool for development in every society. It develops nations or societies socially and particularly for the purpose of interaction within and outside a particular society. Through choice of words and forms of speeches, language can be used to differentiate gender or age.

The languages that a person uses can be differentiate into L1 and L2, that is first and second languages. First language is also known as mother tongue meaning our language or the language a child first comes in contact with depending on the environment he/she is born and raised

while second language is a language that is later learnt at adult stage.


Every individual has a first language or a mother tongue. Hausa language is a largely spoken language in the Northern part of Nigeria. It is observed that most Hausa native speakers posses this problem of their second language (English) facing syntactic problem as a result of the interference or the influence of the mother tongue (Hausa) over the second language (English). This is why a native speaker of Hausa language is easily identified if he/she speaks English language because the interference will be observed once the speakers makes an utterance.




Like its users, one important feature of language is its dynamism. Thus, language adapts to situational constraints as its users vary across regional/geographical, social,educational, occupational, etc. domains. English is such a typical language that, as a result of vast geographical distribution, has often assumed the peculiarities of different societies that use it informing the notion of variety. Varieties of English thus exist among the three Kachru an circles among which Nigerian English (NE) is situated. This paper, building on the works of several scholars who have approached the NE phenomenon from different perspectives, discusses the phonological, morpho-syntactic, lexico semantic and pragmatic features NE. It is submitted that the issue of variation and/or deviation characterizing the NE be harmonized within the Global English (GE) variety and Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) be fully incorporated and implemented so that the current state of English language teaching and learning in Nigeria would transcend the “state of confusion” (Babatunde, 2002) it is now. This is considered expedient so that the Nigerian users of English would be able to cope meaningfully with the challenges posed by the knowledge-driven twenty-first century, in which English is assuming greater roles and significance.

1.0. Introduction

One sociolinguistic implication of the diffusion of English language – an amalgam of the three paltry languages of the Jutes, Angles and the Saxon, unknown in the 6th Century AD – in the global scene is the emergence of World Englishes (WE) (Adegbija, 1994). English is now spoken all over the world among various categories of speakers.

The Kachruan ‘three concentric circles’ of English users are the Inner Circle, the Outer Circle and the Expanding Circle (Kachru,1985).These are normatively characterized as Norm-producing, Norm-developing and Norm-dependent users. This sociolinguistic scenario is also aptly captured by Quirk (1985:1-2) as English as a Native language(ENL) countries (Great Britain, United States, Canada, Australia, South-Africa), English as a Second Language countries (e.g. Nigeria, India, Singapore, Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana,


Uganda, Kenya, etc.) and English as a Foreign Language countries (e.g. Germany, Russia, China, France, Belgium, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Greece, etc.) (Adedimeji, 2006). The international explosion of English has made it cease to be an exclusive preserve of the English people (Adegbija,1994:209).As there are more speakers of English in the outer and expanding circles than the norm-producing inner circle, English is now seen as a global language, susceptible to the subtleties and idiosyncracies of regional and cultural linguistic behaviours. Indeed, Bailey and Gorlach (1982) provide a panoramic overview of world varieties of English as clothed by their various distinctive peculiarities and identifiable local flavour. Some of the issues that have arisen from this phenomenon as rightly identified by Adegbija (1994) are: (a) the growth and development of indigenized, nativized indiosyncratic varieties, (b) the issue of intelligibility or otherwise of the emerging varieties and the implications of this for an international or global variety, (c) the acceptability of the different varieties and (d) the determination of which variety should be the ideal norm to use as a model, especially in education.

As “sociolinguistics tries to cope with the messiness of language as a social phenomenon” (Coulmas, 2003:263), such messiness may be said to abound in the sociogeographical spread of English across the world. Some world varieties of English, aspects of Nigerian English inclusive, would still need to be interpreted to other speakers of English before they are intelligible. This is a result of the overbearing local idioms and linguistic patterns that characterize such varieties or uses. Trask (1995:75) provides such structures of English varieties that are quite normal to their users as follows:

1. We had us a real nice house

2. She’s a dinky-di Pommie Sheila.

3. I might could do it.

4. The lass didn’t gan to the pictures, pet.

5. They’re a lousy team any more.

6. I am not knowing where to find a stepney.

The expressions above are marked by dialects or regional forms. Almost all of them may have to be interpreted to Nigerian and other English speakers apart from their specific users. As adapted from Trask (1995:74-75), the first expression is peculiar to the


south of the USA, with the extra “us” and the form is sometimes used elsewhere. The second structure is MAustralian English, a native speaker variety, and it means “she’s a typical Englishwoman.” The third example is a normal expression in parts of the Appalachian Mountain region of the USA as well as many parts of Scotland; it means “I might be able to do it.” The fourth structure is ‘Geordie’, the speech of the Tyne side area of northeastern England and it means “The girl didn’t go to the cinema.” The fifth expression is typical of a large part of northeastern USA and the use is considered mysterious because it means “They used to be a good team but now they are lousy” the opposite of they are not a lousy team anymore .The last (number 6) example is an Indian English expression and it means “I don’t know where to find a spare wheel.”

What the above shows that English adapts to the socio-cultural constraints that characterize various contexts of its use. A world language par excellence, its propensity to adapt to the dictates of its users, whoever they are, appears to be inimitable. This paper overviews the linguistic features that typify Nigerian English and highlights the implications of such in an unfolding century that poses greater challenges for mankind, economically, politically, culturally, educationally among others, and in which internationalism and globalization will become more pervasive. The present exercise is relevant because most previous attempts at addressing features of the Nigerian English have been particularistic and unidirectional, focusing on individual or two levels of linguistic description. For instance, all of Banjo (1971), Adetugbo (1977), Bamgbose (1982), Jibril (1979;1982), Eka (1985) among others have focused on phonology. Odumu (1981) focuses mainly on syntax and semantics and Banjo(1969), Adesanoye (1973), Kujore (1985), Awonusi (1990)and Jowitt (1991) treat aspects of morphology and syntax extensively in their treatises. Akere (1982), Adegbija (1989), Bamiro (1991), Alabi (2000) among others have been preoccupied with lexico-semantic features while fragments of pragmatic features of Nigerian English can be gleaned from the works of Akere (1978), Adetugbo (1986), Bamgbose (1995) and Banjo(1996).The representative features in all the above are adopted while others are added as found desirable.


2.0. The Linguistic Features of Nigerian English

The English language in Nigeria exhibits certain distinctive features that cannot be ignored. This situation results from the range of social, ethnic and linguistic constraints posed by the second language context in which the language operates. The term, “Nigerian English”, can be broadly defined as “the variety of English spoken and used by Nigerians” (Adeniyi, 2006: 25). Nigerian English has generated as a lot of scholarly interest since as far back as 1958 when L.F. Brosnahan published his article “English in Southern Nigeria.” The question of what Nigerian English is and what it is not has pitched scholars into two camps: the deviation school and the variation school. The deviation school maintains that Nigerian English does not exist and what is referred to by the term is just a concatenation of errors underpinning the superficial mastery of the Standard British English (SBE) by Nigerians. Scholars in this school include Vincent, Salami, Prator, Brann, etc. To the members of this school, Nigerian English is anomalous and the banner of the SBE is upheld as the existing form, “even though their own speech and usage provide ample evidence if its (Nigerian English) existence” (Bamgbose,1982:99). The variation school represents the contemporary viewpoint and a vast army of scholars like Banjo, Bamgbose, Awonusi, Odumu, Adetugbo, Adegbija, among several others, belong here. The school affirms the existence of a distinct variety or dialect in Nigeria, with its own subtypes along basilectal (non-standard), mesolectal (general, almost standard) and acrolectal (standard Nigerian English) lines (Awonusi, 1987, cf. Babatunde, 2001).

The question of which school is right or wrong as determined may be outside the scope of the present work though appropriate entailments to that effect are made. What is incontrovertible is that the use of English in Nigeria is characterized by the idiosyncratic norms reminiscent of the Nigerian linguistic ecology. The features reflect the submission of Soyinka (1988:126) regarding the use of English by Nigerian and other non-native speakers:

And when we borrow an alien language to sculpt or paint in, we must begin by co-opting the entire properties in our matrix of thought and expression. We must stress such a language, stretch it, impact and compact it, fragment and reassemble it with no apology, as required to bear the burden of experiencing and of


experiences, be such experiences formulated or not in the conceptual idioms of the language.

2.1. Phonological Features of Nigerian English

1. Each syllable of a given speech is of nearly the same length and given the same stress. The final syllable is often stressed, even if it is not a personal pronoun. There is no differentiation between strong and weak stresses (Alabi, 2003;Ufomata,1996). 2 Stress misplacement: The stress pattern of English words in NE is different. This discrepancy is illustrated by Jowitt (1991:90-92) in lexical, phrasal and clausal structures as follows:


FIREwood fireWOOD

MAdam maDAM

PERfume perFUME

PLANtain planTAIN

SAlad saLAD

TRIbune triBUNE

conGRAtulate congratuLATE

inVEStigate investiGATE

SITting-room SITting-room or sitting ROOM

DeVElopment fund Development FUND

It SHOULD be It should BE

3. Interference: This is the negative transfer of what obtains in the source language or Nigerian languages to the target language or English. Phonological interference is of five types: a) Over-differentiation of sounds,b) under-differentiation of sounds, c) re-interpretation of sounds, d.) actual sound substitution and e) hypercorrection (Ofuya,1996:151). a.) Overdifferentiation arises when distinctions made in Nigerian languages that are not realized in English are forced on the English language. Examples are:


/kwɒ’rent/ for current in Hausa.

b.) Under-differentiation occurs when more than a sound in mother tongue is used for

more than one sound in English. Generally, Nigerians tend to substitute long vowel sounds with the short sounds, the latter of which is only applicable in their mother tongues.

Hence, /i:/ is realized as /i/

/a:/ :: :: :: /a/

/u:/ :: :: :: /u/

/ε:/ :: :: / ε /

c.) Reinterpretation happens when a sound in English is realized as its close counterpart in English.


/ ʌ/ is interpreted/ realized as / ɔ /

/ ə/ :: :: :: / ɑ /

/ æ/ :: :: :: / ɑ /

/ f / :: :: :: / p / especially in Hausa Nigerian English.

d.) Actual sound substitution is occasioned by the substitution or replacement of sounds absent in Nigerian languages.


/  / is substituted with / t /

/ ð / :: :: :: / d /

/ ʧ / :: :: :: / ∫ / or / s/

/ v / :: :: :: / f /

/ z/ :: :: :: / s /

/ ʒ / :: ::: :: / ∫ /